By: Alexandra Cantrell, ASAS Science Policy Summer Intern
July 28, 2016 – After spending two months in Washington D.C. I have come to love the rich history of the city itself and the impact that the people living in this district can have on the world. I always knew that Capitol Hill dictated the way our country is run, but it did not truly resonate with me until I started touring the halls of our government buildings. I now understand that our nation’s capital has a profound effect on our culture and the way our society thinks. My first realization of this was in the Supreme Court building, which showcases the history of our past justices. To portray the development of law, throughout the building there are friezes of different philosophers and great lawgivers of history such as Moses, Aristotle, and Chief Justice John Marshall.
Another exhibit that caught my eye was the showcase of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. I had the opportunity to meet her once when she attended the opening of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. It was great to have a chance to learn about her in more detail. As a fellow Texan, rancher, and woman, she inspired me with her dedication to the law. Even though she was probably not an Animal Science major, I consider her a role model for what people in agriculture can accomplish in government and policy.
Under the checks and balances within our government, the legislative branch is intended to make the laws, the executive branch is meant to enforce the laws, and the judicial branch must interpret the laws set by the government. Many of the cases heard by the Supreme Court over the course of our history have shaped who we are as a nation today and it humbled me to walk through the displays within the building.